AUDITIONING

For information about an audition, please email info@chamberchorus.org or call 636-458-4343.

 

If you enjoy singing a cappella music in a wide range of styles, if you relish the prospect of singing in one of the Midwest's most prestigious choral ensembles, if you welcome the challenge of performing extraordinary repertoire in some of St. Louis's finest public buildings, then the Chorus is for you. Prior experience of choral singing is essential, and you must be able to read music.

 

When you are prepared for an audition, please complete the online application. Once we have reviewed your application, the Executive Director will contact you with more information and how we would like to proceed.

Audition Times

Each summer different voice-part sections may be auditioned; there are no guaranteed places for existing members. The current allocation is 14 sopranos, 12 altos, 8 tenors, and 12 basses. Any spaces not filled in the annual auditions are available at later sessions.

 

Auditions may also take place occasionally throughout the year to fill any permanent vacancies and to maintain a roster of alternate/substitute singers. These are generally held in late afternoons and evenings.

Audition Venues

Auditions are conducted either in the Music Room at the Ursuline Academy, 341 Sappington Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122, or the Choir Room at St. Peter's (Episcopal) Church, at Ladue & North Warson Roads in Ladue, MO 63124.

 

Audition Procedures

Prepared Pieces

Candidates are asked to prepare two songs; one is in Italian and written by Monteverdi and will be sent to you in advance; the other song is of your choosing but MUST be sung in English. Anything from hymn tune to aria, from folk melody to popular song, is acceptable. (Existing members of the Chorus are required to sing only one song; they may be excused the Monteverdi.) You may not be asked to sing both selections in their entirety, but obviously you must be prepared to do so. Although you are not required to memorize the songs, you should select a piece in English that you are familiar with, and which demonstrates the natural timbre and range of your voice. Making errors on these pieces does not show your musicianship to its full advantage, so you are encouraged to prepare adequately.

Vocal Range and Agility

You will be allowed to demonstrate breath control, volume and the range of your voice. This will be effected with some simple exercises. 

Sight Reading

Generally each candidate will be given two pieces which reflect the diverse repertoire of the Chorus. These will test your sense of pitch and rhythm and your capacity for self-correction. Very few people regard sight reading as their strength, but it is an essential attribute in a choir which performs unfamiliar music on a limited number of rehearsals. Understand, however, that while you will be only too aware of your shortcomings, those conducting the audition will be looking for what you CAN do, and will provide much help.

Duration

You will be allocated a twenty minute audition by the Executive Director; however, it is wise to arrive five minutes prior to your time since you may need some time to compose yourself before singing. You should be advised that there are few facilities for warm-ups at our audition venue. Auditions can over-run, and you should be prepared for your audition to be slightly delayed - a waiting area is provided.

Music

You must bring two copies of your chosen selection(s), in addition to the copy you will be using for performance. These are for the use of the two people conducting the audition, the Artistic Director (or Assistant Conductor) and the Accompanist.

 

Note: You do not need to provide your own accompanist or pre-recorded accompaniment.

Common Questions

Who Attends the Audition?

Generally auditions are conducted by the Artistic Director or his assistant, and accompanied by the Chorus Accompanist. Auditions are conducted in private, and guests and recording devices are not permitted.

 

Is There a Charge for the Audition?

Unlike many other professional choral ensembles, we do not charge for an audition. However it is important to note that the Chorus must pay for the services of those conducting the audition, and those candidates who fail to keep their appointment are expected to compensate the organization appropriately: the current fee is $20, payable in advance. Twenty-four hours' notice is required for cancellation. An applicant who has previously auditioned for the Chorus but then not accepted our offer is expected to compensate the organization for the repeat audition: the current fee is $20, payable in advance.

 

When Are the Audition Results Available?

Decisions are generally not made until the end of the particular audition cycle. You will be informed by email shortly afterwards. If you are offered a place, you are asked to reply by return email. Failure to respond may cause your place to be offered to another singer.

What Are the Possible Results of an Audition?

Full Place – This involves participation in all programs of the Chorus. If necessary, you may miss one program per season [NOTE: in the 21-22 Season this allowance is increased to two missed concerts]. You are paid a fee to perform at each program. 

Alternate Place – This involves substituting for a full member in a single program—at the invitation of the Artistic Director—and attendance at the rehearsals only for that particular program. You are paid a fee to perform.

Rejection – You may not be invited to join the Chorus because of a variety of reasons: most commonly an incompatible timbre for the existing blend of the ensemble, inadequate sight reading skills, or insufficient vocal training. We recognize that this is a most disappointing result, and do not wish to discourage you from choral singing. The Chamber Chorus may be able to refer you to one or more of the other fine choral groups that St. Louis has to offer.

Note: If you auditioned for the Chamber Chorus but were not offered a full or alternate place, you may apply for a second audition, provided that you show, in advance and in writing, how you have addressed the problems that led to the original rejection. Such re-auditions are offered entirely at the discretion of the Artistic Director, based on the current needs of the ensemble as determined by the Artistic Director, and are subject to the availability of a suitable time for the audition. 

Rehearsals

The Chamber Chorus rehearses on Monday nights, 7:00 - 10:00 p.m., with a dress rehearsal scheduled for the Saturday preceding each Sunday afternoon performance. All Chamber Chorus rehearsals are generally closed to the public, to afford the musicians the greatest level of concentration and confidentiality. Anyone wishing to attend one of our rehearsals must apply in writing in advance of the rehearsal, and state his/her reason(s) for wishing to attend. Permission may or may not be granted at the discretion of the Artistic Director and the Board of Directors. Please put your request in an email.